Thursday, November 10, 2011

We are moving!!

Matt and I are moving into our first official place together this weekend! We are both so excited. It's in the heart of Seattle (first hill) and it's a really nice place. Here are some pictures for your enjoyment:

This is what the inside of our place looks like, from the entry.

The rooftop


Building from the Outside


Our kitchen!

Living Room

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

back to blogging

I feel like I have abandoned my audience.

My very small, possibly 5-6 person audience. Either way, I am re-dedicating myself to blogging, since I have recently opened myself up to the world of "raw eating".

I will write more later since I should probably get back to work now! :)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Allergy Diet Results

Hi everyone! If any of you have been wondering why I haven't been blogging, its because Matt's laptop broke recently. It's a little harder to blog from my phone.

I've been following the new allergy diet following my recent results - wheat free and dairy free seem easy compared to wheat free, dairy free, soy free, egg free, corn free and nut free. Although none of these foods cause a true allergic reaction, they cause severe inflammation (eggs are only very slight - I've been eating them sporadically and have not had any side effects.)

One of my major concerns all of my life has been cystic acne. In the two weeks I have been following this strict diet (although I haven't truly been eating healthier; there are still unhealthy foods that fit this category) I have noticed a significant change in my skin. Without having to enitrely cut carbs (I can still eat potatoes and rice) my skin has cleared drastically. The breakouts along my jawline and neck have almost completely disappeared. Other ailments such as headaches and digestive problems, and additional weight I gained in recent months, have not changed that much. I've read about people reaching their normal weight by following the plan, because their bodies are finally able to function properly without the constant battle against invasive inflammation. I guess I'll wait and see if that's a side effect of the diet.

Overall, the diet is easy to follow when I cook at home. Eating out is the biggest challenge. Even at Olive Garden I was able to find a dinner that fit my plan, although it turns out the dressing had cheese in it, which I could tell almost immediately after eating it. I am starting to feel better day by day, and I think everyone should have this testing done. It is possible to feel well!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Hello Again!

After much deliberation and debate on both sides of the spectrum, I am no longer vegan.

The main reason is this: my food allergies.

I am literally allergic to a vegan diet.

The first offender is wheat - which surprisingly turned out to be wheat gliadin, and less the actual gluten causing a reaction, Along with that, all dairy products, eggs, soy, corn, shellfish and some nuts have been cut from my diet. I'm sure there's something I'm forgetting, too.

With the new modified diet, I hope to achieve a healthier, happier life. I am constantly in pain, either with headaches, breakouts, or general body aches and fatigue.

I've also decided to re-dedicate my time to posting more often. Right now and in the past 3 months I have been busy either working two jobs or working really hard at one job. Now that time is on my side, though, and finances are getting easier, I think I will find a lot more space left in my brain to be creative.

Thank you to those of you who have stayed or will stay a fan of Modified Nutrition even after the veganism has come and gone. I still firmly respect vegans and vegetarians, but unfortunately I am unwilling to sacrifice as much as some can or will. I hope you will keep coming back to read more, and thank you for stopping by!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

transitioning to pescetarianism

Pescetarian's are basically lacto-ovo vegetarians who also eat fish, but do not eat chicken, beef, pork, or red meat of any sort. (Lacto-ovo vegetarians are vegetarians who eat dairy and eggs, but do not eat meat or fish of any sort.) So I guess, I'll be an ovo-pescetarian, if we're getting all technical here. :)

Although I still won't be eating dairy, because it causes me to sneeze and get wheezy, I have been having eggs for breakfast and find that I am much more sustained throughout the morning if I have a couple boiled eggs. 2 eggs at 140 calories does more for me than two waffles of similar nutrient density. It's pretty amazing to me how much of a difference it makes for one person to eat animal protein than another person. Each individual is uniquely different, biologically, physically and physiologically.

In the past I've found that I drop weight easily when I am following a strict low-starch, high protein diet. (Not low-carb; I stay away from that term as much as possible, because I love carbs, and I will never give them up!) To me, it's not just about calories in, calories out when it comes to weight loss, or health for that matter. It's about eating whole foods; foods without chemicals, additives, fillers, gums, or any other un-natural, man made substances. My skin clears up, my eyes look whiter, and I don't have as many aches and pains.

My experience with a vegan diet has taught me a lot about how animals are treated, and how to eat ethically. Most people don't think twice about what they have for breakfast or for lunch; most people that I know just grab and go, because they are too busy to think about it, and the options are everywhere. And I am definitely guilty of it myself. But paying attention to food labels is the first step to being your own nutritionist.

I plan on seeing a nutritionist regarding my decision to stay mainly vegetarian. I don't see why I couldn't remain mainly vegetarian, which I've grown so accustomed to already. I rarely crave meat or even think about it, but at the same time, I can feel that my body flourishes on protein and dimishes on carbohydrates. Being gluten, dairy, and probably corn intolerant takes a huge portion of vegan options away, making the entire diet extremely hard to stick to.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

BBQ tempeh sandwiches with garlic fried polenta

These may as well have been tomato sandwiches, I put so much tomato on them. They were pretty good.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Wayward Cafe & Vegan Vocab

Wayward Cafe is located in the U-District, just a few blocks north of the UW itself. Matthew found out about this restaurant while searching online for vegan restaurants. I had no idea there was even such a thing as a vegan breakfast cafe. Vegan breakfast? All American? What???

The cafe, from outside, isn't noticeably appealing. It looks like the rest of the U-District - a little rough around the edges. On our way up to the door, though, I noticed a gluten free menu. That's when I really became sold on this place!

I have searched far and wide for an extensive, accomodating, and edible gluten-free (not to mention dairy-free) menu and have always come up short. Either the menu wasn't dairy free, or it was too difficult to order from, or it was just too unhealthy. I'm not that hard to please when it comes to taste buds, but I am hard to please when it comes to combining all my needs (allergies, health requests, and the like). Wayward Cafe literally brought all of my needs to one place, and for that I am eternally grateful.

Being a vegan restaurant means it is naturally entirely free of dairy, butter, eggs, meat products, and completely cruelty-free. The gluten free menu made my jaw drop. This is coming from someone who has been void of wheat and all things "normal" for the past 3-4 years, so seeing a menu with things like Tempeh Bacon Breakfast Burrito, Brown Rice Pancakes, and Quinoa "Oatmeal", I was ecstatic to say the least.

For breakfast I ordered the Gluten-Free Sampler. Clockwise from left: Scrambled tofu, steamed kale with toasted sesame seeds, tempeh bacon, and half a plate of hashbrowns.

Above, I took a picture of the gluten-free menu, and the unlikely blend of sauces and seasonings on each table including nutritional yeast, Bragg's Liquid Aminos, S&P, hot sauce, and not pictured, organic ketchup. I decided the ketchup had to have been organic, because it didn't burn my throat like normal high-fructose corn syrup ketchup does.

I also have to say a quick word about Wayward's amazing customer service. They were all friendly, bubbly, knowledgable, and helpful. The service was fast (under 20 minutes from the time we ordered, paid, and sat down). The staff was smiling, and the food was absolutely amazing. It was hot and cooked to perfection. To be honest, I really don't remember what Matthew ordered because I was obsessed with my own plate - taking pictures of it, eating it, and relishing every moment of how good it is. It was so good in fact, that we went back the very next day and tried two new breakfasts.

This poor business was robbed the night before we came here, and everyone there acted as though nothing had happened to them. Being a small business like this with expensive vegan food, they need every penny they can get in order to make a profit. Matthew left a large tip both days, but if you can visit Wayward Cafe, please stop by and give them a try. Even if you don't like tofu, try one of their Cinnamon Rolls. Who doesn't like those?
             *Vegan Vocab - or really, just everyday vocab*

Bragg's Liquid Aminos: Equivalent to soy sauce, but gluten and wheat free. Tastes just like soy sauce. Also delivers an extensive amount of amino acids (good for you) in each serving.

Nutritional Yeast: Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast produced by culturing the yeast with a mixture of sugarcane and beet molasses (Wikipedia). Nutritional Yeast is added to a lot of vegan "cheese" products to give it an enhanced, richer flavor. Personally, I don't much like nutritional yeast, but I have heard that people either love it or hate it. Since it is made from fermenting sugarcane and beet molasses, I suspect it is not a good idea for those allergic or intolerant to cane sugar. Although, in terms of health profile, nutritional yeast really takes the cake (ha!). Take a look at the nutrition profile for just two tablespoons (left).  

Tempeh: Fermented soybeans that are traditionally wrapped in banana leaves. The beans are fermented, which actually makes them easier to digest than regular soy products such as soymilk and tofu. Tempeh has a higher protein, fiber, and nutrient density than tofu, although tofu is still a healthy alternative to meat products. Tempeh is also naturally gluten free, but many ready to eat tempeh products contain gluten and corn additives, so make sure to check labels if you are watching out for these. Tempeh is a great source of iron, calcium, and the trace minerals magnesium and phosphorus.

Tofu: Tofu is curdled soymilk. That may sound unappealing, but the tofu is curlded with natural coagulants (chemicals that make tiny pieces clump together into larger pieces) such as nigari, found in ocean water (which turns into magnesium chloride, thus curdling the soymilk) or calcium sulfate, which is a white salt (a man-made chemical). Either one of these coagulants causes the soymilk to curdle, and then it is formed into a block of tofu. Tofu is high in protein and calcium, making it a great alternative to dairy.

If you don't know what kale is, shame on you. Go to the store right now and buy a large amount of vegetables you don't recognize and just start cooking them. :|

I hope all of my readers are inspired and intrigued by these strange words, and will try to integrate them into their own diets. Yes, you, the reader! :) Please leave comments or feedback, or if you have any questions, I am open to hearing/reading them!

Have a good week and stay healthy!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

spicy chili, burritos, and thai stir fry

This past week, Matt and I have been reliving some of mine (and his) favorite classic meals and snacks, such as the PB&J, grilled cheese, spicy chili with sour cream and cheese, bean & cheese burritos, thai-style stir fry, and even a contemporary twist on the all American breakfast.

I discovered that Van's Gluten and Wheat-Free Blueberry Waffles are exquisite when paired with peanut butter and grape jelly. I couldn't help but have two servings!!
Two waffles are 240 calories and 3 grams of fiber per serving. They are gluten, dairy, corn & egg free, making them a great choice for vegans and celiacs. They do contain soy.

For lunch, my latest (and newest) obsession is chili. I always love chili, especially the canned, vegan varities, but I kind of forget about chili until I see it at the store. It's such a filling option, even for those who aren't vegan or for anyone who is looking for a quick, filling lunch to take to work.

I chose Amy's Spicy (vegan) Chili, Daiya Cheddar Shreds, Vegan Gourmet Sour Cream, and fried Basil Polenta. The only ingredient in basil polenta is corn and basil, and it fries up easily in round sections with a little oil. It's really tasty, too. Below I've included a list of ingredients and nutritional info for Daiya cheese.

Ingredients in Daiya Shreds

The Daiya cheese I think I've mentioned in a previous post - it's actually a soy free, dairy free, gluten free cheese alternative that only contains a minimal amount of ingredients, which I am all for. The less amount of processing a food has been through, the better it is for anyone.

I'm really impressed with this cheese, not only because of it's superior ingredient profile, but also because it is so allergy friendly and incredibly tasty!

Matthew and I also discovered an amazing gluten free, vegan breakfast cafe this morning called Wayward Cafe in the U-District. I order everyone to at least try their menu and taste their Tempeh Bacon and Scrambled Tofu. :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

living like a kid again... vegan style

I have to admit, I stoled this pic from the innernetz. My camera phone just
wasn't flattering enough. But this is what mine looked like!!!!

Last night, and this morning, I had an undying craving for a toasted cheese sandwich. How does a gluten-free vegan make a toasted cheese, you ask? There are ways. And the ways that I found were undeniably tasty. Even an omnivore wouldn't be able to tell the difference.

I used Udi's Gluten-Free White Sandwich bread, because in comparing the label to the Whole Grain version, I found that the whole grain bread contains 20 more calories, more sugar, and more sodium than the white bread loaf.

When I went to verify this on Udi's website, the website blatantly lied about the nutritional differences in the two loafs, claiming they are the exact same in nutritional value! Where there is a tiny marker next to the calorie content of the Whole Grain Bread Loaf labeled "140", I drew a line because I was going to point out that the calories should be 160, but I realized I don't actually have a loaf to look at here, so I couldn't make the corrections.

One of the other main issues I have with the health-meter of Udi's bread is the sodium content. The sodium alone in each slice of bread, as you can see in the info to the left, is 135mg per slice. The way I have taught myself to see it, by reading and by experience, is if your food has more milligrams of sodium per serving than it does calories, it is a high sodium food - therefore, it should be eaten in moderation. Just in bread alone, I consumed 540mg of sodium... and I haven't even gotten to the cheese.

Either way... besides my annoyance with Udi's, I made toasted "cheeze" sandwiches using the best cheese substitute I have found thus far. It's a cheese shred called Daiya, and it is 100% vegan - unlike many dairy substitute cheeses that still contain casein. (casein is a protein in milk that some people are still highly allergic to. A dairy substitute, in my opinion, should not contain any dairy additives or by-products whatsoever.) I love this cheese because it is a soy free vegan alternative (how many of those are really available?). Daiya is soy free, gluten free, dairy free, corn-free, and it's still amazing. It even has the color, taste, and feel of real cheddar.

Again, the biggest issue I have with a lot of vegan and gluten free alternatives is the sodium content. In my experience so far as a vegan/vegetarian (I am eating eggs now, so knock me back down to level 3 vegetarian) is that you (and ME!) really need to read your nutrition labels when you're eating food. Any food. Your foods can have fat and carbs and protein, but they shouldn't have trans-fat, too much sodium, too much sugar, or corn syrup of any kind. For an in depth lesson on reading nutrition labels and what to avoid, check this out:

All in all, the toasted cheese sandwiches were delicious, though. Matthew and I had each had two (the bread was small!) and we taste tested Daiya cheddar shreds up against Vegan Gourmet Cheddar - Daiya definitely won. Nutritional Breakdown of the sandwiches was around 350 calories each, probably around 450 mg sodium per sandwich. Ever wonder why you're so thirsty, or your pants are tighter than normal? Start watching your sodium. :)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

breakfast from "le tablier de vol"

That's really poorly translated French for "The Flying Apron". How'd I do?

The Flying Apron Bakery is a buzzing bakery, known specifically for it's allergy-friendly (gluten-free, vegan) pastries, as well as soups, breads, and wholesale baked goods. Located in the lower part of Fremont near the Fremont bridge, Flying Apron is close to competing bakeries, vintage record shops, Peet's Coffee and Tea, PCC Natural Markets, and is in a prime bicycling-friendly neighborhood. Fremont is truly a small taste of Portland, so if you've never been to either, you really HAVE to at least visit Fremont if you're a native to the Northwest. According to this website, Fremont's well known motto is "Free to be peculiar." So really, anyone can fit in.

Beside how awesome Fremont is, though, Flying Apron was an interesting experience. The bakery itself was busy, even on a Monday afternoon around 3:00. The people who were visiting were of a variety of ages and classes - I mean that in the most literal way possible. You'd think most vegan or gluten-free bakeries would attract a type of customer, but not this one. All types of customers flock to this bakery. Hipsters and hippies, 30-something Moms and their children, older guys reading newspapers. Seemed almost like a "normal" cafe to me.

Matthew ordered coffee and a peanut butter morning bar, and I took my time to decide. I ended up ordering the potato chowder and a slice of some type of bread. The chowder was pretty good, but I added a heaping pile of s&p to it. And the bread was NOT to my liking. I am a bread FREAK and I could eat bread for weeks... for me to not like bread is unthinkable. But this bread? No. I couldn't finish it. Couldn't stomach it! I even tried rubbing salt into the bread. No go.

So it only makes sense that I would go back and order more, right? Actually, I went back and ordered their Rosemary Potato Bread from the day old rack. It was 50% off, so naturally I agreed with that. I think the discount made it taste better, too. The potato bread was golden. Literally. It was delicious, and had flaxseeds popping out throughout my tearing through the loaf. The rosemary, at times, felt as though I was picking bones out of a salmon steak, but I grinned and beared it. Beggars can't be choosers, and this was pretty damn good other than the minor complaints. This morning, I cut a few slices of the bread, warmed it up, and slathered it with Earth Balance spread.

Quite a story for just a few slices of bread, huh? Well, that breakfast probably just helped save this little guy:

For more cute animals being saved, check out this website.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

a comment on my latest post

My last blog post on the "good" and "bad" of my vegan habits lately wasn't all that clear, so I'd like to take a moment to clear up some things I may have made confusing.

I said that I had "tried" veganism, but I have not yet given up! :) I'm still going strong, although I have had moments where I felt tempted, but not nearly enough to actually eat meat or products that weren't vegan. When I said I was being a "bad" vegan, what I meant by that was I haven't been eating a healthy diet full of vegetables, fruit, beans, nuts, seeds, and the like. For example, right now, I am eating a Flying Apron peanut butter ball that is the size of my fist; basically, it's a giant ball of peanut buter and organic sugar, coated in chocolate and coconut with a happy healthy looking label on it to make you feel less guilty about eating crap for breakfast.

So, while I struggle with the healthy aspect of my veganism, I have stayed on the vegan path nonetheless. Although, I do have a bit of a struggle with not eating eggs. I've felt less energetic, and I have a hard time getting the notion of "PROTEIN" out of my head (you know, the idea that I need more protein, the one that's been ingrained into us since childhood). I feel like, if hens lay eggs anyway, and they lay hundreds of them all the time, and the hens are in safe conditions and they aren't being abused or killed - why not eat those eggs? Why not literally go to a local, organic farm and buy eggs from the farm? I don't see the harm in that. I'm not supporting a corporate agenda that is plotting to kill and abuse as many animals as it can for profit and gain. I'm just using a product the chicken naturally disposes of, for my own consumption. The local farmer gets the money, the chicken is happy, and I get the eggs. The only con I can see in that is that eventually, the chickens still are slaughtered, which I don't agree with. But if I can do my part in the least, wouldn't that be something?

I've been reading/skimming through this book Matthew ordered from Amazon called Thrive by Brendan Brazier. It's a really awesome book, to be honest. It's really in depth on what vegan nutrition can do for your life. But to be perfectly honest, I look at all nutrition books with a hint of skepticism. Because they all say the same things. Atkins, South Beach, Weight Watchers, Carb Lovers, Carb Haters, Sugar Busters, Cookie Diet - they all say "It changed my life!!!" and "You can too!" and "I lost 500 pounds in a WEEEK!" I mean, that MAY be a BIT of an exaggeration, but you get the jist, right? Every diet book and nutrition book I've read, and I've read about 50 of them, has had the same reviews. So I've come to this conclusion: It's all in your head. I know that sounds awful... it really does... God that sounds so cynical, like something a doctor would say. But it is at least partially true. Veganism is wonderful, because it isn't JUST a diet. It IS better for your body, your digestive system, your overall health and your longevity. But diet and health are largely your attitude. Every diet, every lifestyle and every change is about attitude.

So all in all, even though I haven't eaten the healthiest lately, I am happy about the changes I've made, because I am making a small, immediate change in the demands of what I need from my local grocers by not buying meat, dairy products or caged eggs. My choices do ultimately affect large chain grocery stores, however small, and these choices can have a ripple effect if enough people follow and start to at least buy organic or local products from health food stores.

And on that note...

Saturday, March 19, 2011

thoughts on the "good" and "bad" of veganism

Not much has been going on these past few days. To be honest, I have been a bad vegan.

Well, I really hate labeling myself at all as "good" or "bad". There really isn't a good or bad when it comes to doing something beneficial for farm animals and the environment, but as far as my health and my diet goes, my energy is way low and my actual food intake has been unhealthy as of late. I find that when I'm not prepared with actual meals at work, I eat whatever I can that is closest to vegan, and most of the time it isn't filling at all. In case you didn't know, I work at Starbucks. And it case you've never been to a Starbucks, Starbucks doesn't have options like Walnut-Hemp burgers, Quinoa Pizza, or Sweet Potato Thai Soup. Those are things I actually have to make myself. Which to be honest, can be costly and time consuming.

But to be honest, putting in the time is worth it, and the spending is worth it (to me). It's really subjective, what we "can" and "can't" afford. Walnuts, quinoa, and sweet potatoes are available at most local grocery stores. But coconut oil, hemp protein, and coconut milk can be a little more challenging to find. So I find myself doing great for a few days, and then not so great for those other days. It's easy to get discouraged when you are so determined to do well 100% of the time. Isn't that called perfectionism or something?

I've learned over time that if I put my all into something, I get burned out way too quickly. So when I decided to try veganism, that's exactly what I did - I tried it first. I didn't dedicate myself to it immediately. I said, okay, first I'll eliminate meats. I did that, that wasn't so hard. Okay, now I'll eliminate eggs, but I'll still eat my favorite bread which contains eggs. Okay, I'm ready to sacrifice my bread because I've seen the way chickens are stuffed into cages and forced to lay eggs and then beaten to death, so do I really need the bread with the eggs in it? No. And thus, another vegan was born. I may not be an exceedingly healthy one (yet) but I am "one" nonetheless. And I am making a difference in the death toll for many suffering sentient beings on this planet.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Vegan Pizza Wednesday

Sigh. It's the middle of the week... nothing is really exciting. Life is just plain old life.


So I did. And you can, too.

First and foremost, I gathered all of my ingredients. For this particular recipe, most of the ingredients I found at my neighborhood Safeway.

I used the following:

The French use a term called mise en place, which literally means "putting in place". I actually didn't learn this through Wikipedia; I learned this from being addicted to Food Network for an extended period of time while I was unemployed. Let's just say that cable TV can teach you a thing or two, and keep you occupied at the same time.

But back to mise en place - I can't tell you how useful it is as a cook, whether you are professional or not (and whether you are as OCD as I am or not) to literally have all your ingredients in place before you start cooking. It helps to have everything ready to grab once you start the actual cooking process, instead of constantly running back to the cupboards, or suddenly finding out you don't have an ingredient for the recipe you set out to make in the first place. I mean, ordering pizza is soooooo cliche...

Next Step:

Ready to pop in the oven on 450 for 10-12 minutes.
I turn the broiler on to melt the "cheese" for 5-7 minutes.


And the finished product... was gone in about five minutes. Matthew said it was quote "delicious" and "really, really good" and nodded and smiled throughout the entire five minutes he took to scarf it down. He also gave me lots of thumbs up, too, so I think that counts for something.

You can find more information about the pizza crusts I used here. I found them in the gluten-free section at Safeway in Queen Anne. The Vegan Gourmet cheese is the only certified vegan cheese I've found so far (it contains no casein whatsoever; casein is an animal derivative) and it even has a creamy texture on the pizza. It is available at Whole Foods or most health food stores and only keeps fresh for a few days; it is also expensive (4.99-5.99 for 5-6 servings.) It broils like cheese, too.

Thanks to this video, I was even able to chop an onion without crying!!! How about that for a Wednesday evening??

Have a good week everyone!

VegNews Article on the Benefits of a Vegetarian Diet

An article I found on, a Vegan/Vegetarian website, explains the health benefits of a vegetarian diet and "mythbusts" some misconceptions about both diets:

Veg diets lack protein? Says who?!
Here are a few factoids for veggies new and old.

By Dina Aronson, RD & Meghan Fitzpatrick

Now that you've resolved to go vegetarian, phase two of your new-year plan should be arming yourself with veg-related factoids. Why? Because friends, family, and even random strangers are guaranteed to quiz you, grill you, and otherwise bombard you with questions about your new-and-improved lifestyle. Do a bit of myth-busting and show ’em what they're missing by memorizing a few of these fascinating factoids.

Myth: A vegetarian diet lacks sufficient protein, calcium, and iron.
Truth: A well-balanced vegetarian diet certainly can provide enough of these nutrients.
What we don't hear too often is that any poorly planned diet—meat-centered or not—can lack adequate nutrients. For well-fed vegetarians, protein, calcium, and iron are rarely issues. Beans, lentils, and soy are the protein standbys, although protein is also found in vegetables and starches. As long as we consume enough calories from a variety of foods, protein needs are easily met.

Roughly two-thirds of the world has difficulty digesting milk, making the majority of us reliant upon non-dairy calcium sources. Indeed, nuts and seeds, tofu, beans, leafy greens, and other foods contain calcium, and many plant sources are actually better absorbed by the body than the kind found in cows' milk. Even if your vegetarian diet isn't pristine, it's easy to get enough calcium from fortified vegan sources like cereals, juices, energy bars, and soymilk.

Myth: Vegetarians only eat salad.
Truth: From vegetable-topped pizza and pasta primavera to succulent stir-fries and vegetable curries
, today's vegetarians should have no trouble finding something delicious and nutritious to eat. More and more restaurants are adding veg options to their menus, and many of today's veg eateries have gone upscale, offering dishes that would dazzle even the most discriminating palates. We'd like to also rid the world of the myth that vegetarians arrange their plates with a pile of plain veggies beside a pile of rice. Give us a maple-roasted acorn squash stuffed with wild rice-pecan-currant pilaf instead of a pile of steamed veggies and a scoop of rice any day.

Myth: Being vegetarian is time-consuming and difficult.
Truth: Just as omnivores typically don't pluck their own chickens and make their own cheese from their own cow (that they milked by hand), vegetarians don't necessarily prepare nine-course meals from scratch every night.
We get a bit of help using healthy convenience foods such as wholesome breads, quick-cooking grains, ready-to-eat cereals, frozen chopped veggies, bagged salads, canned beans, baking mixes, jarred nut butters, prepared herbs and spices, veggie burgers and other faux meats, sauces, and more. With a little imagination, a healthy, meat-free meal can be prepared in minutes.

Vegetarians have a lower risk of:Obesity
Cardiovascular disease
Cancer (certain types)
Diverticular disease
Kidney disease

(courtesy of I did not write this article.)

A Fairly Normal Breakfast

After dropping Matt off at work this morning, it was still nice and early, so I decided to drive to PCC Natural Markets in Greenlake to pick up a few things for breakfast. Well, I won't go into detail about what a few things ended up turning into, but I did find some amazing gluten free, vegan English muffins. They were surprisingly moist and soft inside:

(Please excuse my rookie picture/lighting skills... my camera phone is gen 1; you know how that goes.)

The brand is Food For Life and they can be found at Whole Foods or PCC Natural Markets, at least in the Pacific Northwest.

I had these in the fridge already:

So I slathered some Earth Balance on the muffin and broiled it for about 10 minutes. I get the soy free Earth Balance because there is soy in just about everything else we eat (especially vegans and vegetarians, since we rely on tempeh and tofu for protein sources. But even omnivores get an overabundance of soy and corn in their diet - I'll save this for another blog post though.)

The finished product looked like this:

But it tasted just like a normal breakfast :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Why I Decided on Veganism

Recently, my boyfriend Matthew and I have taken a huge step in the direction toward Veganism after watching a documentary called "Earthlings". Yes, it's one of those horrifically sad documentaries where they show animals being slaughtered and dolphins suffocating and chickens having their beaks seared off. However, it was eye opening, and I have been considering for years going vegetarian before seeing this documentary. But Vegan? And considering my food allergies already? Not until I did my research.

My Mom used to say I was a natural vegetarian, because as a child, I would pick at the meat on my plate. Maybe it was just because she didn't cook it that well, or because I knew she was buying cuts from the discount rack at Grocery Outlet. (Just saying...) Either way, I have never really liked very many meats, including poultry and fish. Even most fish I am turned off by, although I will miss a good cut of salmon every now and then.

The reason being Vegan becomes a "big deal" to the people who are doing it is because it becomes a way of life. It's a lifestyle along with a diet, and it's also an ethical and moral way of living. Once you've seen the horrific way that animals are treated by the meat and dairy industries, just for the profits alone, it's not just a feeling of guilt you have when you're eating meat anymore - it's deeper than that. It's a feeling of disgust once you've seen the pain and suffering these animals go through when they are still alive. Shock, electrocution, branding on the face, and dark, cramped living spaces. Vegans (most of them) don't walk around preaching to the world about how "disgusting" meat eaters are, or how everyone should "convert". Veganism is not a cult; it is just a way of life that some people, including myself, have chosen to live (at least at this point in my life) for multiple reasons, the number one reason being that no animals should suffer the way they are just solely for human consumption and mass profits.

Since I am also gluten intolerant, being Vegan poses some issues for my health, which makes it difficult at times. I am not Vegan for health reasons, but more for ethical reasons at this point in time. Six months ago I thought that a high protein, low-carb diet was the sure way to go to stay perfectly healthy. Now, on the other hand, on a Vegan, plant based diet, I eat more carbs than ever, and I feel perfectly normal. I even lost weight initially when I decided to go Vegan. My point is that I am open to a change of heart, although this is where my heart is at the moment.

I would like to also note that my heart is not only in Veganism at the moment, but also in nutrition - specifically, Modified Nutrition, hence the title of this blog. I've become fascinated with the vast majority of people who's health problems are considerably helped by a modified or restricted diet of some sort - whether it be low carb, low fat, vegan, vegetarian, or whatever has worked for each individual. And I hope to eventually get a larger following of people who are interested in obtaining and sharing information on the subject of nutrition and modified diets, because I hope to work in that field eventually. I will be sharing a lot of tips and information (credible, most of it) on this blog, hopefully that will be able to spread to the masses and help those in need.

Thanks for stopping by, and stay tuned for more to come!